One of the favorite shows for Italians in the late 70s-80s was Chips – you remember, the couple of hunks riding on their bikes doing Highway patrol. They were the male version of the infamous Veline, except they were fully clothed and were not given to gyrating senselessly on a tabletop. But, you get my drift.
I think in terms of policemen prototypes, these guys were not so tough and scary; kind of like the way the Italians like to think of their own cops. Collectively, there’s not a whole lot of respect here for the law enforcement guys, although I do think it’s improving. Following the bravery (provoking unseemly national pride) of the Carabinieri’s performance in Iraq, you don’t hear too many Carabinieri jokes these days. But still, when the guys running the red lights, talking on the cellphone while driving, or letting hotties get away with running their own lights (yes, that’s sour grapes!) you tend to lose a little bit of respect for the guys in blue.
The other day I heard an interview on the radio traffic station with a top official from the Highway Patrol (I know, I know, there’s a highway patrol???!!) He was commenting on the ways motorists can stop bleeding money thru the hefty speeding fines levied by the tell-all cameras hidden on every thoroughfare throughout the boot. His suggestion? An emphatic: Just Slow Down. Not only sage advice, but safe too. I was impressed.
Until he quickly followed it up with, “and, if you really must speed, just be sure to get to know where those cameras are hidden.”
It’s always wonderful knowing that you are fully and happily within the boundaries of your comfort zone. As for Chips? Luckily, those huge cement blocks hiding the cameras aren’t mobile. And ugly as they are, no one pays attention to them anyway.
Link to a brilliant site with everything you want to know about the Autovelox cameras, including their positionings and tips to avoid getting nailed.